You may have heard of keratin smoothing treatments but you are unsure of what it actually does or how it works. With so many keratin straightening solutions out there, we thought we’d deconstruct what keratin actually is and what the treatment does for your hair.
1. What is Keratin?
Keratin is a protein that is a makes up most of the skin, hair and nails. Hair especially is rich in keratin-associated proteins and acts as an external protective protein in the cuticle (the outer layers) and the internal structural protein in the cortex (the inner core of the hair which determines its strength).
Your hair has natural keratin but often when exposed to physical, environmental and chemical damage, the hair’s keratin becomes depleted. Keratin loss exposes the hair’s cortex which puts it at risk of even more damage. Replenishing keratin in the hair restores strength and elastic smoothing of the hair’s surface and giving it a healthier appearance.
2. What is a Keratin Treatment?
Keratin treatment is a temporary hair smoothing process that transforms coarse, frizzy and unruly hair into shiny, healthy looking and smooth hair. It targets the hair cuticle or the outer layer of the hair, and is activated with the heat of the straightener, fixing itself around the shaft and memorising the straightening action. It creates an elastic, strengthening external sheath while allowing the hair to breathe.
3. How does Keratin straighten the hair?
Keratin doesn’t actually straighten the hair. There are other chemical properties within the treatment that break down the bonds in curly hair and resettle them so the hair is straight and smooth. This is then set using a hair straightener heat to seal it. Chemicals allow the hair to remain straighter for longer.
Since your hair is being damaged in the process of changing its bond structure, keratin steps in to the rescue. Keratin counteracts the damage being done to your hair by preventing it from further breakage. It restores keratin to the delicate hairs and prevents humidity from penetrating it, which locks out the frizz.
4. What does Formaldehyde Free mean?
Original Brazilian Keratin treatments used Formaldehyde, which works as a fixative by making proteins adhere to the hair. It is a preservative used by embalmers and has been found to be linked to cancer. Formaldehyde has since been banned by the FDA and The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have run its own investigations, finding many products too high in Formaldehyde deemed safe for personal care. Many Keratin treatments are now Formaldehyde free, using alternatives to produce a similar smoothing effect without the harshness of Formaldehyde.
Simply My Hair uses a Formaldehyde Free Formulation made by Lisse Design, an Italian Company.
5. How long does Keratin Smoothing last?
This all depends on your hair and how often you wash it after your treatment. It can last anywhere between 6 – 10 weeks.
Original Article located at: blog.amr.com.au/5-things-you-should-know-about-keratin-straightening/